Jaguar has at last revealed the car it said it wouldn’t build – a 550hp XFR-S Sportbrake super-estate.
Boasting the same 5.0-litre supercharged V8 as the hardcore XFR-S saloon, the new XFR-S Sportbrake means Jaguar now offers a tantalising alternative to the mighty Audi RS 6 Avant.
With 0-62mph taking 4.8 seconds and the top speed limited to 186mph (186mph!), it certainly doesn’t lack potency. It also doesn’t lack space either: fold the seats and it can carry 1,675 litres of stuff.
That’s more than a Volvo V70 estate…
It’ll handle too: it has a retuned version of the XFR-S saloon chassis (the rear spring rates, adaptive damper tune and anti-roll bar have been modified to cope with the extra rear mass), complete with active electronic differential and 20-inch forged alloy wheels boasting bespoke Pirellis. Even the eight-speed ZF gearbox has Corner Recognition so will hold onto gears for when “rapid changes in throttle position” are deemed vital.
It also has the same front suspension knuckles as the XKR-S and, thus, the F-Type – and the steering gets F-Type valving too, for better response and feel.
But tempting as the performance is (and as delicious as the exhaust’s “near straight-through rear pipes” may literally sound), it’s the styling that will make people fall in love with the XFR-S Sportbrake. Performance estates are always cool and this is one of the smartest of the lot.
It gets the same deep front bumper as the XFR-S saloon, plus front splitter and, further back extended side sills and aeroblades. The rear bumper is bigger and has a carbon fibre central diffuser incorporated within, plus a large tailgate spoiler.
It’s only offered in five colours – Ultra Blue, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Polaris White or Italian Racing Red – and gloss black trim replaces chrome on the grille, side vents, windows and bootlid. Even the mesh in the front grille is now gloss black.
Inside, it gets unusual carbon-effect leather, deep sports seats with R-S logo and contrast stitching and piping in red, blue or ivory. Oh, and rear passengers get 48mm more headroom while the rear seats split-fold 60:40 and can be easily dropped via remote-fold levers in the boot.
An 825W 18-speaker Meridian stereo is also standard.
Price? £82,495, and it goes on sale 1 April.
Motoring Research will be getting an early first drive of the new XFR-S Sportbrake on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show next week – come back then to find out what it’s like…